Secret Santa is one of my all time favourite Christmas traditions, and one that I like to take responsibility for each year. Having such a large friendship group, it can get quite costly if we were all to buy presents for each other. Therefore we decided that it would be nicer to buy for a specific person, and we could set a bigger budget.

Thus Secret Santa was born!

No I’m not saying that I am the ‘Founder’ of Secret Santa. But I am now Chief Organiser of our annual gift exchange. And it seems that this position has transitioned into my working life as well.

I have but 3 golden rules for every good Secret Santa:

1. The Name Draw

Now in school we used to use the whole ‘Name in a hat’ trick…but it ended up getting to the point that people were picking their own names out so we’d have to put them all back in and pick again. Thanks to Elfster, that is now a thing of the past!

Elfster is a fun online Secret Santa Generator tool that I discovered a few years ago, and it is such a godsend. You simply invite everyone via email, and then once everyone has accepted it will randomly draw each person with a recipient – and then you’re good to go!


2. The rule of 3

My ultimate rule of every Secret Santa is gift ideas. There may be a time, especially if like us you’re doing an exchange at work, that you may not know exactly what your Secret Santa will like. I always say to those that are taking part to include AT LEAST 3 ideas of things you might like. They don’t have to be overly precise (for example see below…I’m terrible at giving ideas for myself!) but as long as the person has something to go off, it’s better than nothing. The good thing about Elfster (I promise they’re not paying me!) is that you can create wishlists incredibly easy, and even set up more than one if you’re involved in a few!


 3. Keep it SECRET!

My last rule (see what I did there? Power of 3? ;P ) is probably the most important. It’s not called ‘Tell-everyone-who-you’ve-got Santa’…it’s Secret Santa! Do not spoil the fun by telling people who you’ve got (I’m looking at you Tash!). The worst part of this is when swapping gifts. Make sure you get someone else to write the label for you – it’s surprisingly easy to recognise someone’s handwriting! The easy way to do this is to create labels on the computer, which is exactly what I did for our work exchange.

I tell you who would be really good at Secret Santa though, those Pretty Little Liars girls. They sure know how to keep secrets!


And that’s all folks! I’ve got my first Secret Santa tonight with the work peeps, and then my Christmas meal with my friends is tomorrow night so we’ll be exchanging ours then…getting them out of the way early!

Are you having a Secret Santa exchange? Got any tips you can pass on? I’m always keen to take on board anything that will help me organise for next year!